During the early 1960's, the French government made the decision that instead of ruining the city center of Paris they would create a business district outside the city. Tall buildings, colossal modern art, concrete plazas - La Defense was regarded for a long time as a laboratory of contemporary architecture, with mixed results.
The La Defense district which extends along the communes from Puteaux, Courbevoie and Nanterre, is Paris's business center and draws about 200,000 each work day. A gigantic commercial center, exhibitions and shows at CNIT and a hemispherical cinema (Dome IMAX) attempt to humanize the area. Think Clockwork Orange without the crime.
La Defense is decorated by The Grande Arche. Finished in 1989, the Arch is a modern salute to the Arc de Triomphe.
While the area offers good hotel deals at name brand hotels we recommend not staying in this area if you want to visit the authentic Paris. It's a ghost town at night and quite far from all of the famous Paris sites.
La Defense Ratings
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("Five Towers" is the highest rating possible)